Historic Manhattan Theater Fosters Spirituality, Creativity and Personal Growth
The United Palace of Spiritual Arts— housed in the fourth-largest theater in Manhattan, seating nearly 3,400 people—is fast becoming a major center of spiritual celebration, creative expression and personal growth says Spiritual Director Rev. Heather Shea. “The United Palace fuses culture, entertainment, the arts, and spirituality in new and transformational ways,” she says. “It’s called spiritual artistry.”
Located in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, the United Palace hosts programs and events designed to expand and transform human consciousness by fusing the arts and entertainment with science and spirituality. “In today’s United Palace, the spiritual and the scientific join the arts and entertainment to celebrate the ineffable mystery that is life in this cosmos,” Shea says.
Sharing the World’s Wisdom
In service of this vision, the United Palace has developed an array of programs that bring to the public traditional wisdom from around the world, as well as the best contemporary thinkers.
Every Sunday at noon, it hosts (and live-streams) an inclusive spiritual service that looks to all the world’s spiritual and religious traditions for insights and wisdom on the human condition.
On the last Sunday of every month, at 3 p.m., it hosts Open Heart Conversations, inviting experienced teachers and respected leaders from all the world’s enduring wisdom traditions to share their faith and teachings. Upcoming presentations include Judaism on September 30, Islam on October 28, Toltec on November 15 and Christianity on November 25.
The United Palace also shows movies paired with pre-show entertainment. On October 27, for example, it will screen Mantra: Sounds into Silence. Krishna Das will lead a kirtan celebration afterward.
Next year, on February 2, the United Palace will be the launching point for a global event, The Road to 2020, organized by Unity Earth, whose mission is to bring people together through a worldwide spiritual culture revering the sacred and respecting diversity. This inaugural event in Manhattan will be followed by similar ones in Crestone, Colorado; Delhi, India; the Australian Outback (timed for the return of Mungo Man); and U Day Ethiopia at the African Union. The series will culminate with a Caravan of Unity across the United States in September 2020.
Arts as a Spiritual Pathway
In addition to its spiritual programs, United Palace also provides an array of cultural and artistic programming and entertainment meant to enrich the life of the community it serves, Shea says. Upcoming events include a 40th-anniversary celebration of the movie version of The Wiz, accompanied by live music, on November 18, and the annual screening of It’s a Wonderful Life, with an introduction by Donna Reed’s daughter Mary Owen, on December 2.
“We review all the programs to ensure they align with our mission and values,” Shea says. “From classic movies to dance performances and music concerts, all the way to a lobby series that includes some of Washington Heights’ most brilliant artists, we treat arts, entertainment, and culture as pathways to Spirit and personal transformation. As the United Palace community loves to say, creativity is divinity.”
By providing opportunities for people to meet, talk and learn about traditions, cultures, and ideas, she says, United Palace seeks to end misunderstandings and provide the basis for further dialogue, learning, friendship, and community.
“These are true pathways to expanded consciousness and a healed planet,” she says. “We intend to change the world, one consciousness at a time.”
Location: 4140 Broadway. For more information about the United Palace of Spiritual Arts or upcoming events, visit UPSpiritualArts.org. community